Westmoreland County boys soccer notebook: Norwin, Seneca Valley on collision course

Tuesday, November 3, 2020 | 4:36 PM

The Norwin boys soccer team is back in the WPIAL semifinals for the second time in three years.

If the third-seeded Knights (11-0-2) were going to play for a WPIAL Class 4A championship like they did in 2018, coach Scotty Schuchert knew one team would stand in their way: the team that ended the Knights’ title hopes last time, Seneca Valley.

The teams play Wednesday night in Jackson Township.

“Seneca Valley is in big capital letters for us every year,” Schuchert said. “You know you’re going to have to go through them sooner or later. Our kids are excited.”

The No. 2 Raiders (12-1-1) beat the Knights, 5-2, in the 2018 championship.

Like the nearby Yough girls, Norwin is returning to full strength at the right time. The Knights have senior Brendan Ash back after a nagging foot injury. A couple of other players missed time with shin injuries, and a few others had to sit out because of possible covid-19 exposure.

The banged-up rotation helps explain home ties of 0-0 and 1-1 against Allderdice and Latrobe.

“With those guys out, we couldn’t push the gas to extend leads,” Schuchert said. “We beat Central Catholic without Brendan. That (first-round) bye really helped us.”

Norwin beat North Allegheny, 4-1, in the quarterfinals as junior Caleb Yuricha moved from defender to midfield and scored two goals.

Junior Riley Zimmerman and Ash also scored in the victory.

Ian Brown and Nate Bown are experienced, fourth-year starters in the back for the Knights.

All-state picks

Fourteen WPIAL players made the Western Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association All-State list, including the top vote-getter who plays at Franklin Regional.

Junior forward Anthony DiFalco, who has 36 goals and 22 assists heading into his team’s third straight Class 3A final Thursday night, was the only boys all-state pick from the county.

Finals week

The soccer championship games usually are played at Highmark Stadium at Station Square, but the venue was not used because of the covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s finals will be split over two sites, Gateway and North Allegheny, on Thursday and Saturday.

The WPIAL decided in mid-October to use high school venues for its fall championships.

The league plans to reunite with Highmark in the future.

“We appreciate our partnership with Highmark Stadium,” WPIAL executive director Amy Scheuneman said. “We look forward to returning to their premier venue in the future.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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More High School Soccer Boys

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Quaker Valley reflects on memorable run to another PIAA boys soccer title
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